Duke Ellington

Born in Lincolnton, North Carolina, April 29, 1899
Died in New York City, New York, May 24, 1974




Modern/1920 – present


Caravan, Mood Indigo, It Don’t Mean a Thing, Take the “A” Train

Duke Ellington


American composer, musician, and big band leader Edward “Duke” Ellington (1899-1974) was born in Lincolnton, North Carolina, on April 29, 1899. He began piano lessons at the age of 7 and started composing music by ear in his early teenage years. He went on to take piano and composition lessons to further his music abilities, and in 1917 launched his music career as a solo performer and big band leader. In the 1930’s Ellington put out his most famous hits such as CaravanMood IndigoIt Don’t Mean a Thing, and Take the “A” Train. Ellington was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1966, and is one of only 5 jazz musicians to have been featured on the cover of Time magazine.